Op-Ed: Anything Goes: A Muslim Penchant for Rewriting History
Israeli Arabs are among those whose creativity pertaining to historical misrepresentations does not fall behind their brothers in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
Unesco’s recent cancellation of a Jewish exhibit entitled "People, Book, Land - The 3,500 Year Relationship of the Jewish People and the Land of Israel", following Arab pressure, is the latest confirmation that the road to peace between Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Jews is filled with land mines, some of which are so deep, it may take more than a generation to scoop them out - if at all.
The core of the conflict is Muslims’ persistent efforts to delegitimize the Jewish State by denying Jewish historical existence in Israel, including Judea and Samaria, by rejecting well established facts, and by fighting any archeological attempt to unearth historical evidence linking Jewish life to the holy land.
Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish State is merely a derivative of their fabricated history, designed to establish their rights to the land while denying Israel’s right to exist at the same time.
Muslims propensity to rewrite history began with the prophet Muhammad. The Quran makes the claim that the biblical Abraham, the first patriarch ancestor of the Jewish people and the originator of the Jewish religion, was a Muslim, irrespective of the fact that he lived some 2600 years before Muhammad conceived of the Islamic religion.
The biblical account of how God tested Abraham, commanding him to have his and his wife Sara’s only son, Isaac, sacrificed, before stopping him at the most critical moment, was revised in the Quran. This time, Abraham was about to sacrifice Ismail, the alleged ancestor of all Arabs, his son from Hajar, Sara’s servant, who was never mentioned by name in the Quran, leading the reader to infer that the nameless mother was Abraham’s wife.
The Muslim holiday, Eid al-Adha, commemorates this altered biblical tale. What’s more, The Muslim version of the story, once again, alters the biblical account to correspond to an Islamic agenda. It claims that Ismail and his mother were able to quench their thirst at the well of Zamzam, near Mecca (rather than near Beer Sheba), nearly 1000 miles of desert away from their starting point at Beer Sheba (a town in Israel).
Muslims and PA leaders over and again label Moses and Jesus as Palestinian Muslims who practiced and preached Islam some 2000 and 600 years, respectively, before Islam came into being.
Altered biblical accounts conceived to fit an Islamic framework are not a major cause of concern because most non-Muslims are either unaware of them, refrain from challenging religious texts, or ignore and dismiss them due to their absurdity. Still, these Islamic falsehoods offer key characterizations of a culture filled with made-up historical fabrications intended to serve the purpose of the story-tellers.
And nevertheless, Muslim believers and their children are brain-washed to deny any Jewish roots to “the land of the biblical Muslim ancestors”.
This denial of truth, this revision of history, is meant to take a more believable direction when Palestinian Arabs claim (over and over on PA TV) to be descendants of the Biblical Canaanites, notwithstanding the fact that Arabs first arrived in Israel with the Muslim invasion in 637 C.E. and the Canaanites had long dispersed and disappeared by then. The “Canaanite- Palestinians,” they claim, “have been in Palestine for the past 10,000 years.”
And in the same breath, they add, “Jews have no historical rights in the region,” and in schoolbooks: “Zionism is an imperialist colonial implant conspired by the Europeans to get rid of their Jews and steal the “natural resources” of the Middle East.”
Israeli Arabs are among those whose creativity pertaining to historical misrepresentations does not fall behind their brothers in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. In his latest statement, Arab Israeli MK, Ibrahim Sarsour (Ra’am Ta’al), has claimed that there was proof in the Quran that there is no Jewish connection to Judea, Samaria and Temple Mount.
He added that the Quran “proves without a doubt” that Abraham was a “Muslim” and that Isaac and Jacob were “hanifs” (the Islamic term for pre-Quranic figures who “submitted” to Allah.)
PM Benjamin Netanyahu conditioned peace with the Palestinian Arabs on their recognition of Israel as a Jewish State. But this condition may only be satisfied once the Arabs accept real history as the truth rather than their falsified Islamic adaptation.
I find it difficult to believe that Muslim Palestinian Arabs will reject their invented culture and history. I find it difficult to believe that Muslims can accept the fact that Israel was a Jewish state with a rich Jewish history and culture even before the Islamic invasion of the Promised Land. I find it difficult to believe that the Palestinian Arabs will acknowledge the fact that Israel is a Jewish state, and will always be a Jewish state.
If the Arab states find an exhibition, entitled "People, Book, Land - The 3,500 Year Relationship of the Jewish People and the Land of Israel" deeply disturbing, they are telling the world that in their view: “Jews do not belong in Palestine; they never did, and they never will.”